MEENAKARI JEWELRY

Meenakari jewelry, precious stones are set and then enameled with Silver. Historically speaking, the art was introduced to Rajasthan artisans by Raja Mansingh of Amer. He invited Lahore-based skilled artisans to his kingdom, and their intermingling with the locals craftsmen resulted in an amalgam, which came to be known as Meenakari. Meenakari is also a team work, where specialization of skill is of paramount importance.

                                   The art requires higher skill and its intricacy calls for application of technical mindset. In Meenakari, the piece of metal on which the work is to be done, is fixed on a lac stick. Designs of flowers, birds, fish etc are engraved on it. This leads to the creation of walls or grooves, to hold color. Enamel dust, of required color, is then poured into the grooves and each color is fired individually. The heat of the furnace melts the color and the colored liquid gets spread equally into the groove. This process is repeated with each color.

            Subsequently, each color is individually fired. Colors, which are most heat resistant, are applied first, as they are re-fired with each additional color. Once the last color has been fired, the object is cooled and burnished or polished with agate. The depth of the grooves, filled with different colors, determines the play of light. Silver is used for the base of Meenakari. Choice of colors, in case of silver, has to be green, yellow or blue, as these are the colors which stick with it.

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